Chocolate Thumbprints with German Chocolate Frosting

Chocolate thumbprints with German chocolate filling are not only delicious, but they taste like a German chocolate cake in the form of a mini cookie!

The cookie is not cake-like however, but the flavor is almost the same as a cake. Read below for the recipe.

german chocolate thumbprints with german chocolate filling

What are Chocolate Thumbprints?

I recently updated this recipe for my baking program. I chose this particular cookie because it is such a wonderful cookie with many baking concepts for learning and growing as a baker.

Now onto what makes these cookies so wonderful.

Chocolate thumbprints are small chocolate cookies that are indented in the middle.

They are filled with German Chocolate frosting. Optionally, you can add a pecan on top or drizzle chocolate, but they are delicious without additional toppings.

The chocolate cookies are very soft. It feels like an ultra-soft cookie mixed slightly with a brownie, but it’s not thick and chewy like a brownie.

The chocolate cookie is similar to my chocolate caramel cookies which are super soft and delicious.

In other words, these cookies are amazing, but they are quick and easy to make.

chocolate thumbprint cookies with german chocolate filling

A Note About Ingredients for This Recipe

Most of the ingredients in this chocolate thumbprint cookie recipe are very basic. I wanted to mention a couple that are especially important though.

Dutch Process Cocoa Powder

Please use Dutch Process cocoa powder for this recipe. After testing 503,235 batches ?, Dutch process was the winner by far.

The taste of Dutch process cocoa is less acidic, and it’s smoother. Natural cocoa powder doesn’t have the right flavor for this cookie, so avoid it if possible.

My favorite cocoa powder that I use for everything now is this cocoa powder. It has the most wonderful chocolate flavor, and it’s somehow richer and smoother than any other brand I have used to date.

If I can’t find Cacao Barry, I use Ghiradelli Dutch-process cocoa powder, which works beautifully.

Shredded Coconut

There are many varieties of shredded coconut on the market, so I want to specify which kind to use for this recipe.

You will need sweetened shredded coconut flakes, which you can find at most grocery stores. Unsweetened coconut flakes will not be sweet enough for this particular recipe.

I use unsweetened coconut in other recipes, but it doesn’t work as well here.

chocolate thumbprint cookies with german chocolate filling on a vintage cooling rack

How to Shape and Bake Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

Scoop Cookies

Use a tablespoon cookie scoop (#60) to scoop the dough. Level off the dough so each cookie is the same size.


The dough will be a bit soft, so refrigerate the scooped and indented balls of dough This allows the dry ingredients to absorb the moist ingredients better.

Bake and Shape

Bake the cookies. When they come out of the oven, use the back of a teaspoon or melon baller to make the indentation or “well” in the center of each warm cookie a little deeper.

Making the indent a second time is necessary because the centers puff up some during baking.

german chocolate thumbprint recipe

The Importance of a Scale

As in most of my recipes, please use a scale to measure the ingredients. While I provide measurements in cups, the most accurate way to measure ingredients is on a scale.

I use this one, and I never worry about inaccurate measuring (as you would with measuring cups).


Chocolate Thumbprints with German Chocolate Filling

german chocolate thumbprints with german chocolate filling showing the interior of one cookie with a bite taken out

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Camille
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Chill Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 28 minutes
  • Yield: 26 cookies 1x
  • Category: Cookies


Units Scale

For the Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

  • 113 g unsalted butter, soft but cool (approx 60 F)
  • 120 g brown sugar
  • 70 g granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, cold (50 g)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 30 g Dutch Process cocoa powder
  • 185 g all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

For the German Chocolate Filling

  • 75 g granulated sugar
  • 100 ml evaporated milk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 42 g unsalted butter (3 Tbs)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 60 g sweetened shredded coconut
  • 60 g finely chopped pecans


To Make the Chocolate Thumbprints

  1. Cream butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium speed in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment for 3-4 minutes, until lighter in texture.
  2. Add egg and mix on low until combined. Then add egg yolk and vanilla and mix until incorporated.
  3. Sift dry ingredients and add to the mixer in 2 additions. Stop mixing as soon as the dough comes together.
  4. Use a tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop dough, roll each ball until smooth and round. Place them on a small lined cookie sheet, and use the back of a teaspoon or melon baller to indent the centers of each cookie. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and line 2 half sheet pans with parchment paper. Remove dough from fridge and place 12 indented unbaked cookies on the half sheet, spaced about 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake for 7-9 minutes. The cookies won’t look wet anymore, and the centers won’t be as indented.
  7. As soon as the chocolate thumbprints come out of the oven, use the back of your teaspoon and press gently on the middle of each cookie to make the indent a little deeper. Do this as soon as the cookies come out of the oven before they set and cool.
  8. Let cookies rest on pan for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool for 10 more minutes before filling.

To Make the German Chocolate Frosting

  1. Combine the sugar, butter, evaporated milk, and egg yolk in a medium pot. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes to a full boil.
  2. Remove from heat and add vanilla, coconut, and pecans. Stir and let sit for 15 minutes.
  3. Fill the center of each chocolate thumbprint cookie with the German chocolate filling and enjoy. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.


This is a Baker Street Society original recipe.


  1. Fabulous cookie! Just the right combination of chocolate and coconut/pecan filling! I highly recommend this cookie

  2. How many cups of flour should I use, I don’t have a kitchen scale and that’s the only ingredient that didn’t have the alternate measurement.. thanks!

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